After years of education from our parents, teachers, dentists, and dental hygienists, it’s safe to assume that most of us know the role that sugar plays in developing cavities. A high-sugar diet can lead to decay and even tooth loss in some cases. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to cut sugar out of your diet completely.
If you have a sweet tooth, there are steps you can take to prevent cavities and avoid feelings of guilt every time you have dessert. Follow these tips to help yourself maintain a healthy smile:
1. Brush your teeth often but wait an hour after eating. Brushing your teeth at least twice per day should be an essential part of your oral hygiene routine. However, sugary and acidic foods can naturally weaken the enamel on your teeth. Therefore, brushing your teeth immediately after eating these foods can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away and make them more susceptible to decay. For this reason, it’s best to wait at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth.
2. Trade sweet snacks and sugary beverages for sugar-free alternatives. To help reduce tooth decay, try to cut down on sugary snacks and soft drinks, or opt for sugar-free varieties when possible. For example, water or diluted juice is a much better choice than a soda, while sugar-free gum may be the perfect replacement for sweet, sticky candies.
3. Limit sugary snacks between meals. If you get hungry between meals, choose foods that do not contain sugar. The best options are fiber-rich fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, broccoli, avocado, and carrots.
4. Limit soda intake. It’s fine to have a soda occasionally. However, if you are going to drink something sweet, like soda or juice, try to do so only at mealtimes and all in one sitting. Sipping on sugary beverages throughout the day can exacerbate decay and make you more susceptible to cavities.
5. Drink more water. Water is the easiest and likely the most convenient mouth cleaner that you have access to. After eating sweets, swishing water in your mouth can wash away any leftover food and residue that feeds cavity-causing bacteria.
6. Visit your dentist regularly. The best strategy to avoid cavities is to practice prevention by scheduling bi-annual cleanings and exams with your general dentist.
Schedule an Appointment at Your Local Dentist
At Flatirons Family Dental & Orthodontics, our goal is to educate our patients and work together to keep their smiles healthy and cavity-free. Our highly experienced dental specialists treat patients from all throughout the area, including Superior, Louisville, Broomfield, Interlocken & Calmante.
If you’re overdue for your next dental cleaning, contact us today for a new patient appointment.